In Search of Genre is an innovative study of the beginning of modernity in Hebrew and Jewish letters, which reflected the emerging changes in Jewish society toward the end of the 18th century in Germany. Young intellectual Jews aspired to revitalize the Jewish people by reviving the Hebrew language and Jewish culture through literature. Their use of new and renewed literary genres mark the transition from traditional Hebrew letters to modern Hebrew literature. Modernity in Hebrew letters is thus defined as the endeavor to emulate the contemporary European literatures and their prevailing aesthetics and poetics. This study also explores major criteria for identifying and evaluating Hebrew modernism exemplified by attempts to redefine Judaism.
Moshe Pelli is the Abe and Tess Wise Professor in Judaic Studies and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Central Florida. Professor Pelli is a leading authority on the Hebrew Enlightenment and the author of six scholarly books and numerous studies on the subject.